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Hidden in Plain Sight (Part Three)

By September 8, 2016 No Comments

Easily Deepen Your Wallet-share With Microsoft Opportunities

telarus master agent microsoft opportunitiesRead Part One and Two of this series.

Over the last two weeks, I have challenged you to ask new questions during the selling process to learn more about your customer. This week we focus on Microsoft opportunities. I have previously written about the many Microsoft opportunities available in the channel. This is probably the biggest area of untapped opportunity. Microsoft is in nearly every company, and therefore Microsoft opportunities abound. All you have to do is ask these questions.

7.     Microsoft Office 365

Most agents don’t understand how Microsoft 365 licensing works, but it’s quite simple. For the term of the agreement, the end users can select which CSP (Cloud Solutions Provider) they want “tagged” to their account.

For an agent to start to make money on these Microsoft opportunities, the strategy is to get the customer to sign up with NaviSite to become the CSP on record. Once this “paper change” has been completed, NaviSite will have administrator access to the user’s account, enabling them to add new users, set permissions, create new zones, etc.

Microsoft has recently raised the minimum number of seats (300) now necessary for an end-user to buy direct from Microsoft. Everything below 300 is ripe pickings for telecom agents – the simplest of Microsoft opportunities — all you have have to do is ask, “Who manages your Office 365 environment?”

Once you’ve set the hook with Office 365, there are some other things NaviSite can do to help your customer.  But even better than that, NaviSite will send a direct rep to help you propose and close the deal without any commission penalty. It’s one of the easiest ways to make a sale, and it costs you nothing but a few questions to your customer about technology 90 percent of them are already using.

8.     Microsoft Azure

Ask your client if they currently use or have plans to use Microsoft Azure for their cloud computing and storage. If they say yes, there is an opportunity for you to introduce NaviSite (again) to help them with 1) Migrating their data to Azure, 2) Helping them configure Azure and select the right service plan, and 3) Ongoing Azure management and support.

Again, NaviSite would love to get involved on the front end of the sale, so ask the question, schedule an appointment for your customer to meet with a Microsoft Azure expert (NaviSite), and watch the magic happen.

9.     Microsoft Azure Direct Connect

If your customer has Azure already or is thinking about Azure, you need to ask them about their connectivity situation. Several providers, including NTTZayoLevel 3ComcastCenturyLinkCologix, and CoreSite offer direct connect service to Azure. A direct connection reduces the latency on the connection, offers a layer of redundancy, and creates a secure private line between the customer’s offices and their data in Azure.

Know that Azure has many data centers around the world, and your customer’s data will be replicated to all of them in near real-time. What you need to do is find the one nearest your customer so that you can realize the desired speed and performance.

10.  Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Most agents I talk to are completely unaware that AWS can make them money, and allow them to provide value to their clients. AWS is a 100 percent coin-operated cloud hosting platform that offers – ZERO – support to its users.  It is assumed the end-user knows what they want and once the credit card clears, services are provisioned. Most users purchase more computing power than they need, or they purchase the wrong plan, or maybe they don’t optimize the computing loads that they’re sending to AWS.

For AWS management, we are seeing a lot of agents have success with Rackspace, a former AWS competitor. Here the notion of “if you can’t beat them, become their top partner” is certainly in play. Rackspace can become the customer’s AWS technical administrator and ensures every plan is optimized so your customer is never paying for space they don’t need.

I’ve also recently discovered a company that can help your user optimize their actual workload on AWS. The company is Unitas Global, and they are the leader in optimizing enterprise cloud workloads. That’s right, they use AWS more efficiently and reduce the amount of “energy” AWS is using to crunch your customer’s data, and effectively reducing the customer’s bill in the meantime.

And as a parting gift, both Rackspace and Unitas Global will help you close the sale with a team of engineers and direct reps, again, without any commission reductions. They’re both hungry for you to set up appointments, smile, and enjoy what comes next.

To summarize, we started with these questions:

1.     What is your redundancy plan?
2.     Would you like me to add free circuit monitoring to all of your circuits?
3.      What is your plan to handle a hacker who successfully compromises your network?

Then we added these more business-specific questions:

4.     Do you currently use a ShoreTel phone system?
5.     Are you using Skype for Business as your phone system?
6.     If you are processing credit cards, how do you ensure you are meeting PCI compliance?

Then we added Microsoft opportunities: questions to ask:

7.     Who manages your Office 365 environment? And when they say no one, you tell them you can!
8.     Do you use or have plans to use Microsoft Azure for cloud computing and storage?
9.     If you have Azure already or are thinking about Azure, what is your connectivity situation?
10.  Do you use Amazon Web Services (AWS)? If so, would you be interested in learning how to use AWS more efficiently and reduce your bill?

I look forward to hearing how your sales are changing. I also can’t wait to hear feedback about the easily-tapped Microsoft opportunities out there. Now, you have ten new questions to ask during your sales conversation.  Remember, if you don’t ask these questions, someone else will.

Happy selling.

Read the final part four to this blog series here >

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